After intensive consultations, and with the backing of the Federal Association of German Shoe Retailers (BDSE) and the Federal Association of the German Footwear and Leathergoods Industry (HDS/L), the Gallery Shoes show took place as scheduled in Düsseldorf on March 8-10.
According to the organizers, major global events that have recently been cancelled are not comparable to Gallery Shoes in terms of visitors and exhibitors. The necessary safety precautions – such as the increased and visible presence of doctors as well as more stringent disinfection precautions in washrooms and toilets and throughout the grounds, but especially at the entrance – were previously discussed with the Areal Böhler, where the event was organized.
About 500 international brands and roughly 360 exhibitors presented their new collections at Areal Böhler on March 8-10. A fashion show called “Gallery Selected Shows,” with presentations from Shabbies Amsterdam, Haflinger, Schwangau, Wonders and Fred de la Bretonière, was held twice a day, and a new buyers’ lounge served as an additional meeting point. The HDS/L organized a round table with a panel discussion, entitled “Of course, leather.”
Newcomers to the show included JJ Footwear, Weestep, Codello and Palamo Barceló. A total of 72 Spanish shoe labels, among them Acebos, Panama Jack, Pertini and Pons Quintana, presented their latest collections in cooperation with the Federation of Spanish Footwear Industries (Fice) at this sixth edition of the show. According to Fice, Germany is the third-largest importer of Spanish footwear, with 12.2 millions pairs, worth €248 million, brought in from January to November 2019.
Gabor, which already showed at Micam, cancelled its appearance because of the coronavirus, and there were numerous associated cancellations by customers. The company from Rosenheim wanted to present the latest shoe collections of its new Pius brand of men’s shoes and its Gabor brand of shoes. Vagabond also cancelled at short notice, as the company did not want its employees exposed to health risks.
The organizers of the show noted a decline in visitor numbers from last year’s spring edition. Attendance in the eight exhibition halls always remained below 1,000 people. According to an observer, the show was relatively quiet, but according to some exhibitors, however, trade visitors were driven and determined. In the run-up to the show, there had been some cancellations on the part of the exhibitors, as only 360 of the 400 registered exhibitors were actually present, with around 500 instead of more than 600 brands.